What to Know About the Chrisley Family Drama
It's been a climactic summer for Todd and Julie Chrisley, even aside from the latest seasons of the USA reality shows Chrisley Knows Best and Growing Up Chrisley. The married couple have been indicted on charges of tax evasion and fraud, and they're facing accusations of extortion from Todd's own daughter. Read on for more details of the TV stars' real-life drama…
On Tuesday, August 13, a federal grand jury in Atlanta indicted Todd and Julie on charges of tax evasion, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States, U.S. Attorney Byung J. "BJay" Pak said at a news conference, per the Associated Press. Additionally, accountant Peter Tarantino was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding the filing of a false tax return.
The 12-count indictment accuses the reality TV couple of submitting fake bank and financial statements to get loans, sending fabricated financial documents to a California property owner to get a rental home, using a company they'd created called 7C's Productions to hide their TV show earnings from the IRS, and failing to pay their taxes on time, according to the AP.
One day before the indictment was filed, Todd told Instagram followers that he and Julie "have nothing to hide and have nothing to be ashamed of" and have "done nothing wrong." He wrote in the August 12 post that in 2012 the family discovered that a former employee had been stealing from them, in addition to "creating phony documents, forging our signatures, and threatening other employees with violence if they said anything" and even "illegally bugging" the family home.
Todd also claimed that the employee had convinced the U.S. Attorney's Office to open the investigation and to grant the employee "immunity from prosecution for his own crimes."
At the August 13 news conference, however, Pak said that Todd instructed the former employee to create the false documents. According to the indictment, the employee told Todd that he didn't have the financials to send to a bank, and Todd allegedly wrote back, "Stop telling me this (expletive), create them like you always have."
On Wednesday, August 14, Todd and Julie pleaded not guilty to the charges, entering the pleas before a federal magistrate judge in Atlanta. The judge released the couple on a $100,000 unsecured bond, according to the AP.
In an emailed statement to the news service, lawyers for the couple claimed that the indictment "relies largely if not entirely on emails that we know Todd never sent but rather were fabricated by this former employee."
"We have no doubt that if this case ever reaches a courtroom, Todd and Julie will be completely exonerated," the lawyers added. "But in the meantime, their reputation will be sullied by a shamefully unjustified prosecution based on testimony of a dishonest source who has somehow managed to successfully mislead prosecutors."
Meanwhile, the Chrisley family is also dealing with allegations from Lindsie Chrisley, Todd's estranged daughter from a prior relationship. According to TMZ, Lindsie filed a police report in Georgia in July, claiming that Todd and Chase, one of Todd and Julie's sons, threatened to release a sex tape of hers — a tape she believed Chase purchased — if she didn't lie about an "incident." TMZ's sources say the "lie" relates to her testimony in the tax case.
Todd denied the allegations in a statement to E! News, and claimed that Lindsie had affairs with Bachelorette alums Robby Hayes and Josh Murray. "It's heartbreaking and shameful that these kinds of accusations have to be aired in public," he said. "We have tried to keep Lindsie's extramarital relationships with Robby Hayes and Josh Murray private for her sake since August of 2016."
He continued: "Sadly, for reasons we can only guess at, she ran to the sheriff's office to accuse her brother of buying a sex tape of her and Robby, which was a complete lie, and now she's telling more lies about me. Although our hearts are broken, Lindsie is our daughter and we will always love her."
Afterward, Lindsie's attorney offered her own statement to E!, saying, "Lindsie would like nothing more than to be left alone and go about her own business. Unfortunately, certain members of her family will not let her live in peace. We are flabbergasted at the audacity of Todd and Chase Chrisley, who are more focused on attacking my client rather than defending themselves against the allegations of criminal conduct."
The attorney continued: "While is it not necessary to detail their repugnant actions, it is important to note that the allegations are of serious crimes against Lindsie. Lindsie had made a complaint of their acts to law enforcement and she will provide them whatever they need in the course of their investigation into her family’s actions. Lindsie prays for a just outcome so that she can go forward with her life safe from those who are looking to do her harm."
Amid all the drama, Todd assured Chrisley Knows Best fans that the USA show's eighth season is going forward as planned, Deadline reports.